As we sit in the midst of the Christmas season, lingering yet still in the year 2009, we begin a new year with a hopeful gaze to the future mindful that without the past, we would not be where we are today.
I hope to write a post about Christmas around here this year, but felt the need to get some of these thoughts down today.
I was sharing with a friend yesterday how the season of Advent is more than preparation time for Christmas, which in and of itself is a truly wonderful time, but for me it is also as time of reflection of the past year and a look towards the new year.
I learned so much about myself in 2009; more than I can put into words as I still attempt to incorporate the nuances of what I've gleaned from deep reflection into my daily life. I do know that several more layers of "my onion" have been peeled away and at times this was quite painful, quite uncomfortable, and even quite frightening. There were many more scenes of joy, peace, and love which help to balance it all out.
I used the 40 days before Christmas to work out the direction I hope to head in 2010. I have stopped calling these things "resolutions" as I tend to fail miserably whenever I make them. Instead, I have set goals. Personal, family, and professional. I won't go through each of my goals individually, but I will share how I break them down.
One thing I will share is something that I had read in a magazine in the last few weeks. Kirk Cameron and his wife Chelsea have 5 family tenents which they follow. (While I may not agree with all of his religious views, I do believe that he is truly a Godly man and is committed to uphold the sanctity of life and the values of marriage and family.) It so closely resembles what we strive for in our family that I thought we would perhaps adopt these five family values as well.
Tell the Truth
I find these to be so simple, yet so difficult. But that is me in a nutshell, making everything more difficult than it needs to be.
Along with the family goal, I address 4 personal areas of my own life; Spiritual, Physical, Intelluctual, and Emotional (relationships). Under each of these areas, I set a goal to achieve with smaller goals to help me to reach them. I write them each down and to these also address a goal or two for our schooling and our financial picture. About every three months, I look over my goals, make my adjustments, and continue to press on to meet them.
I have learned from past years that I need to keep my goals small enough to be reasonable, yet large enough to find it a challenge and to work towards becoming that better version of myself that He calls me to become.
Throughout the whole process of determining what to work on in the coming year, I find that I can get pretty down on myself. I have learned that while this is not a fun process, sometimes it is necessary to "feel" the emotion of it all so that it motivates me to move.
My hope for each of the people that have touched my life, in whatever capacity, is that you are able to spend a bit of time during the 12 days of Christmas reflecting on whatever drives you to get out of bed each day, and find a way to encounter it on an even more personal level that leaves you in a better place.
Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year!